Simon J. Fisher, MD, PhD
Photo: Simon J. Fisher



Elected 2011
Diabetes and its complications represent an extraordinary research challenge. Impaired insulin action in target tissues not classically considered insulin sensitive may contribute to the pathologic metabolism characteristic of diabetes and obesity. The goals of our laboratory are to test the hypothesis and understand the mechanism by which insulin appears to act in the central nervous system to regulate nutrient metabolism within the brain and in key peripheral tissues. Our laboratory utilizes techniques of molecular biology, physiology, biochemistry, pharmacology, neuroscience, and genetics in the breeding and characterization of transgenic and tissue specific knockout models. The overall laboratory objectives are to identify the systemic regulators of blood sugar levels associated with insulin action in the central nervous system, to categorize novel hypothalamic nuclei and fuel sensors that are the key mediators of insulin action to define their role in the pathophysiology of defective insulin action, to characterize the pathway by which insulin acts to increase the stress response to hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), to prevent brain damage and cognitive deficits associated with insulin induced severe hypoglycemia, and to identify key mediators of tissue cross-talk in response to insulin action and their roles in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance, obesity, and diabetes.